Tag Archives: United States

Complete Your Tax Return For Free

Complete Your 2012 Tax Return For Free

It’s time to prepare your 2012 tax return. But have you ever considered submitting your federal income tax return online? Well, if you are ready to deal with your 2012 tax then there’s good news; you can prepare and file your taxes for free. You have to admit that it would be far simpler to do all of your federal income tax preparation from the comfort of your own chair and then file the taxes for free. You can file your taxes for free if you use an online tax software provider. If you have all of the information for your 2012 tax return to hand then you can do the job in no time at all.

US Navy 080206-N-6538W-008 Electrician's Mate ...

US Navy 080206-N-6538W-008 Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Nathan Hansen, left, helps Operations Specialist 1st Class Paul Lutton prepare his tax return aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK. So how do you go about doing your taxes for free online and preparing your tax return for 2012? Look online and locate a federal income tax preparation software site that has been IRS approved. The majority of the sites that let you file your 2012 tax return for free are easy to understand.  In fact doing your taxes has never been so easy. Anyone who is filling in their 2012 tax return needs to know that the site they use is speedy and secure. Find a site you like and fill in your 2012 tax return. When you have given all of the federal tax information needed then it’s time to let the software take over. Submitting your taxes has never been as easy and you can do all of this for free.

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The Marketplace Fairness Act

The Marketplace Fairness Act

One of the many perks of online shopping, the lack of online sales tax, may soon be a thing of the past as the Marketplace Fairness Act, an official Senate Bill, is on its way to the House of Representatives. As of 1992, online retailers have only been required to collect sales tax from consumers that live in the state where the online store has a “physical presence”. However, tension was slowly mounting as smaller businesses tried to keep up with the many perks the online world offered.

English: Lochalsh Butchers Located in Station ...

English: Lochalsh Butchers Located in Station Road, Kyle of Lochalsh. This is a thriving local business with three other shops in the locality, offering online shopping, home delivery and mail order. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Retailers on the web slowly began to push that little edge, and allowed cheaper prices for the same product. Physical stores eventually caught onto the new trend, realizing that they had become showrooms for consumers who would end up leaving the store to buy the same product online.

The only thing slowing online shopping then was the shipping. Most would offer free shipping as a way to rope in new buyers; but people that really want something, have to have it right away, right? Nothing beats having your purchase in your hand right away. That was, until the start of the same day or next day shipping guarantee. That was the last push that gave small businesses all of the evidence they needed to argue the clear advantage online retailers possessed. They questioned how online retailers successfully carried out those guarantees without in-state affiliates. The bill easily passed with a vote of 69 to 27, getting support from both the Democrat and Republican parties. While large corporations and the average customer may not be affected much, this could mean a big loss for online retailers.

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Microsoft May Owe Denmark A Billion Dollars

Microsoft May Owe Denmark A Billion Dollars

Throughout its known history, corporate America has not been unfamiliar with the concept of companies seeking to enhance their profits by saving on high taxes. The three giants of American IT – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have faced the ire of several competitors and governments in their efforts to place billions of dollars in tax havens or through complex, layered acquisitions. Today, Microsoft finds itself in troubled waters with the taxation authority of Denmark who have levied a charge of over $1 billion on the technology giant in back taxes and fines.

The Burden of Back Taxes

Steve-Ballmer-CBI-Annual-Lecture2009

Steve-Ballmer-CBI-Annual-Lecture2009 (Photo credit: The CBI)

According to industry sources, Microsoft acquired the Danish Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software company Navision A/S in mid-2002. The taxation authority of Denmark claims that parts of the company were then sold to a small Microsoft subsidiary in Ireland and the company’s profits funneled through tax havens such as the Bahamas, Bermuda and Switzerland.

Navision has been renamed Dynamics NAV and operates in several countries around the world. Microsoft also competes with another American major Intuit who offers a personal and small business finance product TurboTax 2013 that is regarded as a threat to some parts of Microsoft’s ERP software developed by Dynamics NAV. Denmark’s corporate taxes are fairly high — to the tune of 25%, but the government has been proposing a 3% reduction in order to attract foreign investment. With countries such as Ireland and the Czech Republic offering significantly lower tax rates and inexpensive labor, several U.S. and European corporations have moved operations there, while making profits in high-tax nations. However, Microsoft’s use of Caribbean tax havens and subsidiaries to maximize profits has caused significant turbulence in a fragile software and financial market. Although Microsoft may come through relatively unscathed, any penalties paid may encourage other world governments to step up and challenge the American software majors.

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U.S. tax reform – Effect of decrease in the tax code’s bias for debt

The much awaited tax reform has at last arrived to reduce the tax code’s bias for debt. As per the recent announcements, the U.S. corporate tax rate may reduce to 25% from 35%. The non-financial corporations will be allowed a deduction of nearly 65% of their gross interest expense, whereas the financial corporations will be allowed a deduction of up to 79%. Some special rules and regulations have also been implemented for the corporations who have stated a malfunction in the tax purposes.

Interest Rates

Interest Rates (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

According to various financial experts, the general strategy is to reduce the corporate tax while restraining the interest rate deduction. This strategy may be helpful in reducing the tax code’s bias for debt. Consequently, the investments projects may get more lucrative for U.S. in the near future.

Debates are on regarding whether the situation will really improve or not. Doubts have been raised whether the tax code’s bias for debt will actually be modified or not. Well, there are justified reasons behind these doubts and debates. The reduction of tax code’s bias has both benefactors and oppositions. If the bias gets corrected, then it may be helpful for numerous debt finances. On the contrary, some organizations which were used to take advantage of this bias may face serious hike in the tax burden. They may encounter difficulties to pay off taxes.

However, the evaluation of the tax reform proposal must not be done by judging only individual interests. If the tax reform may help in overcoming the economic obstacles in U.S., then it should be received positively. It’s being assumed that the tax deductions may lead to efficient distribution of resources. Many corporations may avoid issuing debts because of interest rate deduction. This will ensure that the organizations will not make financial decisions due to tax purposes. Rather, the decisions will be influenced by economic reasons. This may be beneficial for an overall economic growth in U.S.

As per some financial analysts, the application of interest cap to the pre-existing debt is not an excellent idea. To make the reformation successful a few other steps must also be taken by the U.S. government. If the tax reformation permits grandfathering of accessible debts, then the corporations may rush for issuing long-maturity debts. The rush to pay off taxes must be reduced too. For the reduction of the rush the U.S. government must take some fortified step. Only then the corporate taxes may be controlled and the reformation may turn out to be really effective.

There are arguments regarding what should be the nature of tax reformation. Many financial experts believe that the interest cap must be applied only to the net interest expenses and not to the gross interest expenses. This opinion has faced much criticism. The application of interest cap to the net interest expenses may raise the amount of revenue. As per the reports of the Congressional Research Service, the reduction in the corporate taxes may reach the 15% notch.

The restriction of net interest rate deduction may even increase the effective marginal tax rates on the vital debt-financed investments. So it’s better to concentrate on applying the interest cap on net interest expenses rather than targeting gross interest expenses.

The U.S. tax reforms may have reduced the tax code’s bias for debt but it’s not yet clear how effective this is going to be. Unless the tax reforms turn out to be completely revenue-neutral, it can’t be effective enough.

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How To Organize Your Tax Records

How To Organize Your Tax Records

Learning how to organize your tax records can save you stress and time when it is time to file your taxes.  Start the year with an organization system so you know where all of your records are when it is time to file your taxes.  If you aren’t sure what records you need, here is a general guide that is suitable for most people.

Income

Your employer will issue a W-2 with your income and tax information for the year.  You should also include interest statements from investment accounts and any 1099s that you may receive for work done the previous year.

English: Same as :File:2010 Receipts & Expendi...

English: Same as :File:2010 Receipts & Expenditures.PNG, but slightly improved. Bar chart comparing estimates for United States federal government total receipts and expenditures in fiscal year 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Medical Expenses

File receipts for all medical expenses and your out-of-pocket health expenses.

Donations

Keep all receipts for cash donations made from the previous year.  You can also deduct non-cash donations made to a charitable organization.

Real Estate

If you own your home or other real estate, keep all interest statements and tax assessments.

Child Care

If your children are in day care for all or part of the year, keep a copy of your receipts for payment.

Student Loans

The interest you pay monthly on a federal student loans is tax deductible.

Letters from the IRS

If you receive any letters from the IRS, keep these in your file.

Previous Tax Forms

Keep all previous tax forms for future years.

Other Receipts

Keep all receipts that you may need for a deduction.  You may not need them, but it is better to have them in case you do. If you plan on itemizing your deductions, keep all receipts for taxes you paid, medical expenses, interest you paid, charitable donations, loss due to theft, job expenses and other receipts you think may qualify for a deduction.

If you plan to itemize your deductions, it will be a lot easier for you if you keep these receipts organized throughout the year.

If you do not have a lot of paperwork each year, you can store them in one file.  However, if you have a lot of receipts or other tax papers, you should organize them by type to make your free tax filing 2012 easier and quicker.

For most people, a simple paper organizer that holds several files is sufficient to organize tax information.  Use a separate file for each type of paperwork, and file receipts and information as soon as you get them.  Keeping paperwork organized and not letting it pile up is important to stay organized, so file your paperwork as soon as your get it or once a month as needed.

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Free Online Options To File Your Taxes

Free Online Options To File Your Taxes

Filing your taxes on time can be a very long and time consuming process if you do not have a clue of what you are doing. However, you can make this process as easy as possible by simply choosing to file online with TurboTax or TaxAct. If neither of these tax filing options is ideal based on your personal needs, you should consider using H&R Block Home edition which also receives good reviews.

TaxACT Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is important that you consider your free online options to file your taxes prior to deciding which would be able to best meet your needs. There is no one solution that is going to work for every person, you may find one service to be very useful, but your brother may enjoy the layout of another service. Typically, this decision is very much about personal preference and the company that you are most comfortable with. However, they are very different when it comes to guiding you through the process of filing. TurboTax makes the tax filing process easy by guiding your every step through a return, they make the steps easy by providing simple explanations that you can understand. As a result of this approach, TurboTax is great for those that want to save time, it is a quick solution that can help you get your taxes completed easily.

When it comes to time involved with filing your taxes, the H&R Block solution would be the slowest. There are no in depth explanations and this can mean that you would spend a lot more time to get through the filing process. The TaxAct solution is going to fall in the middle, it will save you money and make your taxes easier to do while limiting your stress.

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Businesses and Phil Mickelson Consider Bailing On California

Phil Mickelson State Taxes

Thanks to California’s new state income tax, there are a lot of high earning citizens who are considering moving to a new state. One such citizen is Phil Mickelson, a top-ranked golfer. This week he suggested that the new state taxes may force him to move out of the state. Later Phil Mickelson went on to say that he shouldn’t have spoken out as he did but there are others who are saying the same thing.

Leader Phil Mickelson teeing off on the 18th h...

Leader Phil Mickelson teeing off on the 18th hole at TPC at Sawgrass during the final round of the 2007 Players Championship. Mickelson bogeyed the hole but still won the title by two shots. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those who will be taxed feel as though it will be excessive. They are also feeling that California is slowly becoming unfriendly to businesses. This is seemingly something that has been going on for quite a while and thus they are starting to think that there will be no end to it. In fact, some of them have even said that this can be traced as far back as Proposition 30, saying this is what changed everyone’s mindset.

Most of the wealthy businessmen who are thinking of relocating are merely thinking and talking about it right now. However, tax analysts expect that they will see the occurrence by 2014. It will take the wealthy this long to figure out how to relocate to avoid paying state taxes without actually moving out of the state. Some of these people are thinking of moving to Texas where the personal income-tax rate is zero, whereas it’s 13.3% in California. Of course, this is just one of the many states to which they may relocate as there are others who also don’t charge individual taxes.

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